Threats to the inner pulp of your teeth can sometimes be challenging to identify and diagnose, but dental technology has come a long way in the past few years. One of the most exciting pieces of recently developed dental technology that aids endodontic specialists in their work is cone beam computed tomography, or CBCT.
Dental CBCT machines are a special type of x-ray equipment used when regular dental or facial x-rays are not sufficient. An endodontist may use this technology to produce 3-D images of teeth, soft tissues, nerve pathways and bone in a single scan. During a CBCT scan, the the machine rotates around the patient, capturing images using a cone-shaped x-ray beam. The resulting images can capture what is happening in the patient’s mouth, jaw and neck, as well as in their ears, nose and throat.
The biggest advantage of CBCT dental technology is that it allows the practitioner to visualize a patient’s condition as it actually exists in their mouth, because it is able to differentiate between many types of structures and airspaces — including bone, teeth, airway, sinuses, and soft tissue. This allows for a more accurate diagnosis and treatment planning process. CBCT can also be used after treatment to ensure that a root canal or other procedure has adequately addressed all problems that existed prior to the intervention.
Patients need to do very little to prepare for a CBCT scan, other than to wear loose clothing and leave all jewelry at home. CBCT scans are low-dose x-ray examinations compared to a standard medical CT scan.
“We’re thrilled that we can provide CBCT scans for our patients to deliver comprehensive endodontic treatment. This is a piece of dental technology that allows us to provide better care to everyone,” says Dr. Jacqueline S. Allen, who practices with the Phoenix Endodontic Group.